Maryland Terrapins (13-5overall, 3-1 ACC)
1/26/10 7pm Comcast Center, College Park, MD
Last game: Mia: lost to BC 79-75. MD: def NCSt. 88-64
PF: Mia: 75.7. MD: 81.5 PA: Mia: 61.2. MD: 65.0
Miami is 2-3 on the road, Maryland is 9-1 at home
The Terps welcome in the Miami Hurricanes in a game between teams on the opposite side of the momentum spectrum. The Terps are winners of three straight and stand in a tie for first in the ACC while the Hurricanes have lost their last three games and are in last place in conference after going 14-0 out of conference.This game is a must win for the Hurricanes who are desperate for a win and desperate teams tend to be dangerous. The Hurricanes have had a lot of success against the Terps in the last few seasons but this a new season and the Terps will forget about those previous losses.
Stats can be deceiving and that is definitely the case with the Hurricanes. They are only allowing 61.2 points per game but they have given up over 75 in their last three conference games, all of which were losses. The 'Canes best win on the season was a home win against Minnesota, which makes their undefeated non conference start, seem less respectable. This Miami team does not have the guards that can fill it up like they did in previous season with the likes of Jack McClinton and Guillermo Diaz. Two of their three double figures scorers are guards, but they are not the scoring threat of previous Miami guards, and the Terps won't be scared of them. Dwayne Collins paces the 'Canes attack and is a menace on the glass averaging almost nine rebounds per game. The Terps did a tremendous job shutting down NCSt's Tracy Smith last game, so they should be able to do the same against the Collins. The Terps will need to be cognizant of the outside shooting of the 'Canes who have four players that shoot over 40 percent from beyond the arc. If they get hot, Miami has a chances , but if not, they could get run out of the gym.
The Terps have looked unbeatable at home since their loss to William&Mary and their confidence is sky high right now. They do not have a marqueewin that but the Terps are doing what they are supposed to do and beating the teams they are supposed to beat at home. Offensively, they are clicking on all cylinders and there is no reason to think they will struggle to score against the Hurricanes. Jordan Williams has adapted to ACC and is giving the Terps enough production in the middle to keep teams honest which opens things up for the perimeter scorers. The play of Cliff Tucker and Williams has helps the Terps weather the storm if the likes of Vasquez, Hayes and Mosley are struggling from the floor in any game. Adrian Bowie has been productive off the bench the last three game and is showing some of the form from his stellar freshman season. If Bowie and Tucker can consistently play well, the Terps will be a very dangerous team for the rest of the season
Call me crazy, but I believe this Terps team has a legitimate shot of winning the ACC regular season title, and they are playing like they believe it too. The William&Mary game was a wake up call and the Terps are winning big against teams they are supposed to beat. Their 22 point drubbing over North Carolina State showed me a lot, because that is a game that previous Terp teams would have won by single digits. The Hurricanes have had tremendous success against the Terps in the last few seasons but a lot would have to go right for them to leave the Comcast Center with a win. The Terps don't look like they are going to lay an egg, like they have in previous seasons and I expect them to comfortably win and move to 4-1 in the ACC. Terps 83, Miami 69.